Japan's disaster management minister says areas stricken by torrential rains are suffering from a lack of volunteers to help the cleanup.
Takeda Ryota appeared on a NHK program on Sunday. He said that the number of people who have come forward to volunteer has been very low, because of concerns over the coronavirus.
He explained that a workforce is needed to remove the mud and debris that has been swept into houses. He said officials have to think of ways to recruit volunteers, while taking measures against the spread of the virus.
Takeda also spoke about plans for future disasters. He said the government will take preventative measures, such as discharging dams in advance. He said the country needs to learn lessons from past disasters, and constantly review its policies.